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Widow’s pension in Ireland

Widow’s or Widower’s Contributory Pension is a payment based on social insurance for both men and women. It is not means-tested. Entitlement is not affected by any other income you may have such as earnings, an occupational pension or a pension from your late spouse’s employment.

Source: Department of Social Welfare – www.welfare.ie

You may automatically qualify for a Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension if your late spouse or civil partner was getting either a State Pension (Transition) or State Pension (Contributory), which included an increase for a dependent spouse/civil partner (or would have included an increase but for the fact that you were getting State Pension (Non-Contributory), Blind Pension or Carer’s Allowance).

  • If you are not in this situation, then you must have enough PRSI contributions.
  • If you are widowed with qualified children and you do not qualify for a Widow’s or Widower’s Contributory Pension, you should apply for a One-Parent Family Payment.
  • If you are widowed and aged under 66 and do not have qualified children and you do not qualify for a Widow’s or Widower’s Contributory Pension, you should apply for a Widow’s or Widower’s Non-Contributory Pension.
  • If you are widowed and aged 66 or over and you do not qualify for a Widow’s or Widower’s Contributory Pension, you should apply for a State Pension (Non-Contributory).

Cross border issues

If you do not qualify for a Widow’s or Widower’s Contributory Pension on Irish contributions alone, contributions paid in other EU countries (including Northern Ireland) can be used to help you qualify for a reduced Widow’s or Widower’s Contributory Pension from Ireland. You should give details on your application form of any employment or periods of residence by either you or your late spouse in the relevant countries. For further information please visit: www.welfare.ie – Does social insurance outside Ireland count?

Northern residents who wish to apply for a Widow’s Pension need to contact the International Pension Centre (IPC) based in Newcastle.  You should explain that you wish to claim a Widow’s Pension from Ireland and request that the IPC send the appropriate records to the Department of Social Protection in Ireland. Tel: 0044 191 218 7777 or 0044 191 218 2828

See also:

  • Department of Social Protection – www.welfare.ie – Pensions